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Re: receiving a serve writes:
> Is it illegal to receive a serve with an overhead set?

No.  Setting a serve is not necessarily illegal.  You won't find rote
prohibitions on certain types of contact in most recognized rulebooks.
The rules stipulate "Characteristics of the contact" instead of
listing specific contacts that are illegal.  Receiving the serve with
an overhead pass (set) is not illegal in any officially recognized
rulebook, although I have seen such rote prohibitions (what I call
"homer" rules) in some recreational leagues.

There is a restriction under USA Volleyball beach rules that such a
set must not be double contacted.  As long as the set is clean (not a
double contact, not a lift), there is no problem:

    USAV Beach 1998-99
    13.4.2 A player may have successive contact with the ball during a
           single attempt to make the team's first contact provided
           the fingers are not used to direct the ball.

For the complete USA Volleyball rules (paying particular attention to
the "Playing the Ball" rule), see: 

Feel free to visit the following pages for more info.  You may find
the first two especially useful in clearing up common misconceptions
in beach volleyball rules:

    Beach Volleyball Rules Primer

    Indoor vs. Beach Rules Differences

    Newsgroup postings in response to similar questions in past:

Best Regards,
                  Todd H.
USAV Jr. National Referee, Great Lakes Region, Palatine, IL
Todd's Volleyball Referee Page
"So you're a Ref and an engineer? Oh that explains it...."

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